MARCH 16

Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 27
     Proverbs 3
     John 6
     Galatians 2
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''I have been crucified with Christ; It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians   2:20)
 
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
            In one of the most important verses of the New Testament, Paul gives some of the best insight of the exchanged life to be found in the New Testament. This powerful verse allows us to see the reality of the surrendered life. It is not a matter of seeking to be crucified with Christ; it is made clear that we have already been crucified with Christ. This supernatural event involves a historical reality of the cross and our willingness to surrender everything to Him.
            Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. We must surrender all pretense and deceit. Then He miraculously gives us His righteousness in exchange. This means we must give up all rights and claims. The question is, are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, and everything else in our life?  Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?
            Paul allows us also to see the replacement that has taken place. It is now Jesus Christ, living His life in us and through us. We are fully identified with Him, in His death, burial and resurrection. This means that my individuality remains, but my primary motivation for living and the nature that rules me are radically changed. I have the same human body, but the old satanic right to myself has been destroyed. Paul makes it very clear that it is now Jesus living His life through us, and the life which I now live in my mortal flesh, I live by the ''faith of the Son of God...'' All of this identification with Christ leads to an incredible rest for the child of God.  I am able to rest in Him because it is no longer me living the Christian life, but He is living it through me. It means the breaking of my independence and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus.
            Has that breaking of your independence come? Anything less is religious game playing.  A point you must decide is this - will you give up?  He is talking about absolute brokenness and surrender to Christ as Lord. This continues to be about redemption and reconciliation. It is possible because God Himself in human flesh loved us and gave Himself for us. The truth of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ has paid the debt for me. We are saved from hell and total destruction; therefore, it seems strange when we talk about ''making sacrifices."
We must continue to focus and firmly place our faith in Jesus Christ, the One from whom our salvation springs. Jesus wants our absolute unrestrained devotion to Himself. What a blessed joy and relief it is to know that we do not have to struggle to live the Christian life. We are crucified with Him. Now, all those things I find it impossible to do, the Lord Jesus Christ in me and through me accomplishes everything.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            Egypt is a land of more than 998,000 sq. km, mostly desert. Only 3% of it is land - along the banks and delta of the Nile River, and around the western and desert oasis. This land with more than 70 million population has a history that is rich in culture and is known throughout the world as a people who have been very capable through the years of building magnificent buildings, and accomplishing great feats. The capital of Egypt is Cairo with more than 16 million. The other major city is Alexandria. Most of the people in Egypt are Arabs, and they are a very nervous member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The recent revolution in Egypt bringing about the fall of the government and the influence of strong radical Islamist organizations have resulted in the martyrdom of hundreds of Coptic Christians. The very survival of Christianity in Egypt is at stake right now.
            When King Tut's tomb was discovered in Egypt, they found a jar of seeds hundreds of years old and the seeds grew. The life is in the seed. Many people get discouraged as they think they are planting the seed and nothing seems to happen.  The problem is that they do not understand the seed (it's not my opinion, it's His Word), and the seasons (the seed reproduces at different times in different places). It is also important to understand the soil. The soil in Egypt is now very hard.  It could also be because they do not understand success.  Success is being obedient whatever the result.
            Pray that the believers in Egypt will be obedient and faithful to planting the seed, and leaving the harvest up to God. I genuinely believe that the fault does not lie at the feet of God if we are not seeing a great harvest in any country. The fault lies at our feet for not sowing the seed.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''Most joyfully will I confirm, with my blood, that truth which I have written and preached." John Huss